Hello from KL, the 'Garden City of Lights'. What a wonderful city this is - a great mix of the modern and the urban with the natural and the traditional. KL is famous for its leviathans, the KL Tower and the Petronas Towers, but I was surprised to discover a number of parks, forests and lakes all within the city limits - and both of the aforementioned buildings have green space attached/directly next door.
Sharan and I rolled in to KL in the afternoon Thursday, decided to head straight out from our hotel, the Brisdale near Chow Kit, and in to the heart of KL on the monorail - not before we visited the nearest, and largest Sikh temple in KL just around the corner. We managed to organise our hostel for the next night (Backpacker's Hostel, Julai Sultan - nice and cheap 7 pounds a night), explore Chinatown, before heading back to Chow Kit to check out its night market and 'chow' down on some yummy food.
The next day we checked out of our hotel and lugged our backpacks downtown to the hostel. After a breather we planned our day and made for the national history museum....turns out the original one was shut (Merdaka Sq), so we rallied round and made for the 'new' one. KL is roasting hot and I'm sure it isn't even the hot season currently. This made walking a little more difficult than usual but plenty or rest stops and water saw us through. We got to see a great deal on foot, lots of monuments, amazing buildings, new and old, and of course the street life of this busy city.
We walked for miles, from the centre all the way out to the Petronas Lake gardens, near the Parliament building, the war memorial, an ASEAN sculpture display, through the park with amazingly well kept gardens - we didn't visit the deer park or butterfly gardens - then on to the museum. Entrance was free at the first exhibit, and it was all about ancient Malaysian weaponry - cool. Do you know what a Keris is? Then we ate corn in a cup, does what it says on the tin, before entering the newer national history museum. This also had some very interesting displays and artifacts on display, in yet another impressive building.
We walked...again....from here all the way to the KL tower....which we found was up a hill. The sweat was pouring off us when we got there - it was early evening and dusk was approaching, needed to get up there for the light. Luckily the 7 quid entrance included 2 bottles of water - bottles shaped like the KL tower! - made it in time to get pictures of the amazing view by day (visibility wasn't brilliant but good enough) and by night - beautiful.
On descending we sought out the other 'complimentary' activities that our ticket brought us which were....a go in an F1 simulator (Sharan and I were too big for the cockpit, darn it.)...a 'Winter' wonderland where we got to see a traditional Malaysian dance quartet....and best of all, an animal zone with the most amazing collection of snakes (I held a python), spiders, birds, lizards, turtles, rabbits, monkies.....we were so surprised and all the snakes were so lively. One python was bigger than my car, I think! Headed home tired and happy. Finished with a meal in Chinatown on the streets and a beer on the roof of our hostel - there's a bar up there and we met the guy who runs it, a very friendly and amiable Ozzie named Chris.
Slept till noon today - naughty I know, but you would too after all that walking! Then we marched ;OP Walked to the Post Office HQ before getting the train to the Petronas towers....to get up to the viewing deck (lower than the KL tower) you have to queue first thing in the morning - tickets are free but go quickly! Sharan and I contented ourselves with the shopping mall at its base - smart! Lots of names here like Louis Vitton, Ralph Lauren and....Marks and Spencer's? 5 floors of shopping and eating excess plus a multi-screen cinema open till 10. We contented ourselves to window shopping, took a stroll around the park then made for 'home' and dinner.
Bus for Malacca tomorrow - 2hrs on the local bus - a small town and a quick stop before Singapore.